When the Stars traded a conditional third round pick for Jamie Langenbrunner yesterday, they were sending a message. That message was that the Stars, one of the league’s top teams this season, are buyers. They are going for a Stanley Cup this year, and have a legitimate chance at winning one. That means they will hold on to all assets, including Brad Richards. This is something I mentioned on Twitter yesterday after news broke about Langenbrunner.
Before acquiring Langenbrunner, the rumors about trading Richards didn’t really make sense. Now with him in the fold, those rumors should disappear. The Stars are currently 4th in the NHL, and lead their division by five points with two games in hand. Barring a monumental collapse, one of a New York Mets proportion, the Stars will be in the playoffs, and will likely be the #3 seed heading into April. Richards is a key part to their team, and their leading scorer. There is simply no way the Stars trade Richards right now. It just doesn’t make any logical sense. If the Rangers want Richards, they will have to wait until the offseason. If they want a top line center at the deadline, he will have to come from somewhere else.